By CNA/EWTN News
Pope Francis appointed Thursday two lay lawyers to tribunals of the Holy See and Vatican City.
On Nov. 8 Enrico Ferrannini was appointed substitute promoter of justice for the Vatican Court of Appeal, and Maria Fratangelo was named defender of the bond of the Roman Rota.
Fratangelo is likely the first woman to hold the position of defender of the bond of the Roman Rota.
The promoter of justice of the Court of Appeal is Raffaele Coppola, appointed by Pope Francis in 2013. The promoter of justice is the equivalent of a public prosecutor.
Ferrannini will be his substitute, or deputy. A canon lawyer, he was also a member of the ecclesiastical court of Benevento, and is an official of the Roman Rota.
Fratangelo, already a lawyer within the Roman Rota, now takes over as defender of the bond.
The Roman Rota is one of three courts within the Holy See. The others are the Apostolic Penitentiary and the Apostolic Signatura.
The Rota is akin to a court of appeals or court of "last instance," and is also where marriage nullity cases are judged. The defender of the bond is the lawyer who argues for the validity of the marriage.
For this reason, the defender of the bond has the right to be present during the depositions of the parties, witnesses and experts, to view the judicial documents and to examine any documents produced in the case, to be called when requested and is called to present to the judging panel his or her concluding observations.
Fratangelo replaces Robert Golebiowski, who held the position since 2016.